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Teaching Science in the Community: Science 101


Science 101 is a four-month, non-credit, barrier free course offered to residents of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and other inner-city communities.

The program provides an introductory Science education to adults who have historically had difficulty accessing university. There is no fee for the course and no pre-requisite knowledge is required.

Science 101 introduces students to a wide variety of topics, including physics, astronomy, chemistry, and biology. Classes are taught by University of British Columbia professors and graduate students who donate their time and resources.

» Program History

Learning Objectives

  • To help students learn concepts from various scientific disciplines.
  • To introduce scientific knowledge that helps students understand the natural forces governing our world.
  • To broaden students' experience in their community.
  • To have fun with science.

Course Time and Duration

Science 101 is offered every summer from May to August, with a mid-term break in July. The 14-week program consists of 2 lectures per week, 1 optional tutorial per week, and 1 to 2 optional field trips per month. A graduation ceremony is held at the end of the program in August.

Lectures are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8:30pm on the UBC Point Grey campus and cover a variety of topics in Science. Optional tutorial sessions are held Wednesdays from 3 to 5pm at the UBC Learning Exchange (612 Main St.). Tutorials are used to deliver skill-building workshops, including computer, time management, and note-taking skills, that students can apply in Science 101 and beyond. Optional educational field trips are also offered throughout the term, and include the H.R. Macmillan Space Centre, the TRIUMF Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics, and a Botany Lab.

Upcoming program dates: To be announced in March 2015.

» 2014 Program schedule

For Students

The program is open to adults from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and other inner city communities who have a passion for learning and have historically had difficulty accessing university education.

Applications are accepted each year in March and April for the upcoming program. Applications must be completed in person at an information session (dates and times are announced in March). There is space each year for approximately 25 students.

In order to successfully complete the program students are required to attend Tuesday and Thursday evening lectures and to prepare a final project. The final projects demonstrate what students have learnt by taking the course and are displayed at the graduation ceremony. Students should be prepared to spend time outside of the class to complete their project.

If you are interested in finding out more about applying for Science 101, please contact us by e-mail or by phone (see contact information).

» Final project information
» Library resources for final project | UBC Library
» Student testimonials
» Student yearbooks

For Volunteers

We are always seeking volunteers to assist with the program. Volunteers are an important part of Science 101 and are given a variety of responsibilities both inside and outside the classroom.

Volunteers are recruited each year in April. If you are interested in volunteering please submit a maximum 250-word cover letter explaining why you would like to be involved, a resume listing your current activities, and the volunteer application form. All documents must be submitted in person at a volunteer information session (dates and times are announced in March).

If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering for Science 101, please contact us by e-mail or by phone (see contact information).

» Volunteer information
» Volunteer application form
Volunteer testimonials

For Alumni

The Science 101 Alumni Program began in 2010 as an effort to provide continued support and education opportunities to former Science 101 students, to help them develop skills needed for future education and employment, and to maintain a presence for the Science 101 Program in the Downtown Eastside community. Students eligible for the Alumni Program must have successfully completed the Science 101 Program.

The Alumni Program runs each year from September to March. Events are held two to three times a month at various locations in Vancouver, including the UBC Learning Exchange and UBC point grey campus. Past events have included science tutorials, skill-building workshops, a first-aid course, and yoga classes.

For Instructors

We are always seeking instructors to lecture for the Science 101 and Alumni Programs. Instructors are asked to design an introductory level lecture that could include an activity, laboratory, and/or field trip, for a 2 hour class.

If you are interested in finding out more about lecturing for Science 101, please contact us by e-mail or by phone (see contact information).

» Past instructors and lecture descriptions
» Lecturer testimonials

What's New

Our 2014 yearbook is now online.

Contact information

Elena Zaikova
Martha Liu
Chad Atkins
Program Coordinators
P: 604.345.0348
E: Email Sci 101

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